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Comment Any linux (Score 1) 48

If you play close attention :
on any user space that lacked Android support up until now.

Anbox is a combination of 3 things :
- an LXC container containing the Android userland
- compiling android-only kernel extensions so the container can actually find them in the kernel (e.g.: Binder)
- using a forwarder normally designed for the emulator that will forward a few things (like graphics). Because the container is isolated from nearly all hardware accesses.

As long as your weird user-space can hangle this, you can give it a try.
(GNU/Linux of course. But Android might be able to host such a thing. Maybe even find a way to get a Busybox/uLibc user space run this)

Comment *hardware* limitation (Score 1) 48

Actually there is a limitation, but the above poster is wrong: it's not a kernel one, it's a hardware one.
- Android expects hardware floating point (e.g.: armhf). But Raspberry Pi 1 lacks them.

Also this requires Android directly talking to the host kernel.
And not all Android Kernel extension (that are needed in this case) have been thoroughly tested with raspberry pi.
Expect to stumble unpon even more never-before-seen bugs.

Comment Native CPU (Score 1) 48

The summary is badly worded.

you can install apps but they need to be

- in android's architecture-neutral bytecode ("I can't believe it's not Java(tm) !")
- in the same native architecture as your main OS, because there's no emulator, Anbox runs in a container, thus interecting straight with your current kernel.

Currently supported architecture lists: AMD64 (obviously), but also ARMHF and ARM64.

So you can install an ARM app, as long as you do it on a compatible Raspberry Pi, or Pyra, etc..

But again, the whole thing is currently alpha. So for the next few months don't excpet much except a lot of crashes, specially if you're not running the same kind of configuration as most other testers.
(You'll find way more bugs)

Comment Actually, much better. (Score 1) 48

So, you can use apps "designed" for a pretty small screen with a touch-only UI, on a large monitor with a keyboard/mouse?

Actually, android also runs on tablets so not only small screens.

Nearly every last android device has a OTG port, and Android supports mouse and keyboard input out of the box (yup, plugin a powered hub, an USB keyboard and USB mouse and, suprise, everything works as expected.) (There are even small accessory manufacturer specializing in hardware keyboards with USB and Bluetooth for Android).

Not only that, but since recently Android even support variable-sized windows.
On actual real tablets, this is used to enable to tile application side-by-side.
But in Anbox it's used to enable application to run as arbitrary windows on the desktop.

And the parent was asking about an App that simply works as a glorified OTP. So that's definitely something which isn't entirle built around a phone UX.

Comment Examples (Score 1) 120

I think they did some years ago, it's called "git".

Sparkle Share is an example of document tracking built aroudn "git".

Also there are examples such as ownCloud / NextCloud.
This last one is getting so much popular that it has seen official deployment in some universities.
(e.g.: Switch is providing country-wide installation for Swiss Universities)

Comment Microsoft tax (Score 3, Informative) 51

I understand wanting to support the Linux community, but I thought one of the "big advantages" of Linux was that it was cheaper? Yet here, even without the Microsoft tax, it costs a lot more.

The thing is, unlike your custom self-build linux workstation, linux laptops not only come *without the Microsoft tax* (making them a bit cheaper), they also come *without the Bloatware/Crapware bonus* (making them not heavily subsidized by "Punch the Monkey to win big prizes !" and "Let's siphon all your data straight to all the marketeer we an find".

They also don't come with the *integrated by chinese almost-slave labour rebate*.
Laptop tend to be complex and weird (embed controllers, etc.) which requires a tiny bit of adaptation to make them linux-worthy.

- When you buy a big popular brand like Lenovo's Thinkpad Ts, Dell's Lattitude, etc. someone else would have done the debugging already (see ressources like Thinkwiki) and by that time it'll probably be upstream in vanilla kernel and standard distros. So you can probably just pop in a CD of Ubuntu or Linux Mint and it will install flawlessly.

- When you start with less popular manufacturer, you'd be in for a few small surprise : screen not turning on, kernel crashing at boot when trying to enumerate hardware, UEFI-Secure refusing the signature of your bootloader's shim, etc. You could be needed fixes in the firmware and/or workaround patched in the kernel. It might something really simple (just hacking a bit some settings).
But even that "simple" will by done by some who isn't paid in cents per day range.

So it adds up to the costs.

Comment Baddly worded summary (Score 3) 51

The summary is badly worder.

The thing is :

up until now System76 were selling
- laptops which were simply re-branded laptops from other brand, to which they changed firmware and OS to a more free option
- desktop which were mostly of the shelf beige-boxes
i.e.: they were selling mostly 3rd party hardware

starting from next year, they also want :
- laptop that they make themselves (well, most likely they will be still produced in china. but the idea is that the models are now made by System76. Not Lenovo models with an alternate firmware and OS).
This is interesting because in the end it will enable them to better choose the component inside the laptop for Linux compatibility (avoid too much weird embed controllers)
- desktop designed by themselves too. (that won't be a much big change from the current beige box trend. A motherboard is still a motherboard).
but at least it will help with brand identity and will also help testing their design pipeline on a smaller scale before tackling the laptops.

Their blog post make it clearer (I swear I didn't click TFA's link ! I just clicked last week, when it was on Phoronix. Am I still /.-worthy ? :-D )
Sadly the summery sounds like you need desktop cases specially made compatible with Linux.

Comment Form factor (Score 1) 89

Are we talking theoretically, or are we talking practically? Because practically there are many choices out there for a cheap laptop that is capable of running arbitrary code.

Cheap : yes.
But cheap isn't the only characteristic that attract people to chromebooks.
The form factor is also another reason.

And most of the "run arbitrary code, and easily install Linux on them" devices tend to be heavy clunky workstation-class laptops
(again for obious market reasons : most linux users tend to be developers, its best to concentrate effort to create pro-laptops catering to them)

Chrome books tend to be extremely light and thin.

If you're on the market of a machine which doesn't break your back, and for which you hope to get supported drivers you best bets are in order : ChromeBooks then Windows ultraportable.
Usually, forget about MacBook Air, their weird embed controller won't get driver support quickly.

And that's for ulta-thin portable.

Then there are smartphone.
There it's very hard to find device allowing end-users to install arbitrary code. Usually you'll find it only on special hobbyist-oriented platforms, which tend to be expensive and with lower hardware specs (due to smaller production runs) like OpenMoko/GoldeDelicious FreeRunner/GTA04, like Pyra handheld console, etc.

There are a few consumer-oriented platforms that can optionally allow you to run arbitrary code : the above mentionned Jolla 1 by the former sacked R&D team of Nokia, Palm / HP's Pre (and the tendency has now halted, after switching hands to LG), etc.

And in between (still a smaller production run and a bit expensive for not-stellar specs. But more consumer-oriented than hobbyist oriented) : Fairphone 2.

Comment command-line (Score 1) 84

Both cgroups and containers can be created and manipulated from the command line. Nobody bothered to do this as a PoC before going off on a tear and creating systemd.

There were command-line demos of cgroup/namespace (video of devs launching "make -j 255" while the desktop remains responsive).

What nobody bothered, is trying to rewrite the mass amount of bash script to support it.
(Specially since nearly every distro seems to write their own script madness to handle starting/stopping jobs *).

You would either need each single distro to rewrite mass amount of in-house developed shell code in order to leverage such newer kernel functionnality.
Or, you need that a few standard component that leverage the facility for you an simplify using it.
For obvious resource-saving reasons, most people went for the 2nd option.
Systemd was one of such developed facilities, and is the one who ended up the most popular. (By redhat who developed it. But also by other distributions who picked it up very early like suse).
And as usual, Canonical went for their own "NIH-syndrom" solution (upstart), before eventually joining everyone else.


* : which is another advantage of systemd.
Most distribution wrote their own rc?.d scripts, usually with tons of boiler-plate code (for starting, checking status, etc.)
systemd relies on much smaller simpler static configuration files - easier to edit, also easier to share.
It's easier to maintain the the content of rc?d.

On the other hand, unlike SysVInit, where much of their processing is done by calling bash (i.e.: outside of PID 1), systemd move a little bit more functionality in there (into PID 1) in order to be able to interpret the conf files.

Comment Random generated content (Score 3, Insightful) 47

It is also for variable random content. Imagine a service that returns a webpage containing the product (of the multiplication) of two numbers, followed by a list of links to ten other random number pairs you could try. It would take a 1kB page to write, but infinite space to archive *all* the results

And already has a correct behaviour for that :
- it wont try to download all infinity of solution in one go (e.g.: generating giga-byte worth of data out of the 1kB Perl/PHP/NodeJS/whatever source)
- instead it will occasionally rescan the page, every few days (more or less frequently, depending on popularity of the links)
It provides a small glimpse of what a user could have seen back then on the website.

By the way, back in the 2000s, this was exactly a popular way to poison SPAM robots spiders who where scanning the web for e-mail addresses.
- Either they honour robots and not scan that or any other sources of e-mail on the site.
- Or they attempt to ignore robots.txt and follow links they aren't authorised to, and end-up siphonning giga-bytes worth bogus e-mails addresses auto-generated by small perl script, which will pollute their base of harvested addresses.'s spider might by a tiny bit more susceptible to this kind of things.
Bot as much as a SPAM email-harvesting spider (which will try to download as much as possible, much more aggressively than, but still such a labyrinth of links might get archive lost.

Comment Re:The problem is depth perception (Score 1) 48

Your eyes are far better at matching light frequencies between both eyes to get the depth mapping correct. Your standard camera can only distinguish 24 bits of light frequency. At that level you get somewhat of a depth map but not a very good one.

Waymo uses LIDAR, not visual light cameras. It gets an extremely accurate depth map, far more accurate than any human could, because LIDAR measures the time it takes light to reach the "seen" object and bounce back to the receptor.

In a 3D mapped world, all the depth information is 100% accurate.

Which is only slightly better than LIDAR-derived depth information.

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